US 6202895 B1
A method of organizing and dispensing cosmetic foundation compositions wherein a series of dispensers receive and hold a series of different cosmetic foundation compositions. The dispensers are supported within a structure such as a carousel and are disposed in side-by-side relationship. In cases where the desired foundation is a standard tone or color, the particular foundation is simply dispensed from the dispenser holding the same. In cases where the desired tone or color falls between standard colors, then certain proportions of two or more standard foundations are dispensed and mixed to yield the desired cosmetic foundation.
1. A method of organizing an array of liquid cosmetic foundation compositions and dispensing the foundation compositions from a series of dispensers comprising:
a. filing a series of plunger dispenser with different cosmetic foundation compositions;
b. placing the foundation composition dispensers on a rotating carousel;
c. supporting a receiving or mixing container under the rotating carousel;
d. rotating the carousel until a selected foundation composition dispenser aligns with the mixing container supported underneath the carousel; and
e. dispensing a selected volume of the foundation composition from a selected dispenser into the underlying mixing container by pressing a plunger associated with the dispenser and pushing the plunger downwardly causing a selected volume of the foundation composition to be dispensed into the underlying mixing container.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein each cosmetic foundation composition dispenser includes a valve formed on a lower portion of the dispenser and wherein the valve is movable between open and closed positions.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the valve is spring biased towards a closed position.
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the carousel includes an upper rack and a lower rack and a connecting sleeve extending therebetween, and wherein there is provided a base for supporting the carousel and a connecting bolt extending downwardly through the carousel which connects to the base.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein the upper and lower racks include openings formed therein and wherein certain openings of the upper rack align with certain openings of the lower racks such that respective foundation composition dispensers can be inserted into aligned openings of the upper and lower racks.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the foundation composition dispensers each include a transparent outer housing and a plunger reciprocally mounted within the housing.
7. The method of claim 1 wherein the cosmetic foundation compositions are provided in a number of standard colors, and wherein there is provided a mixing code that enables the standard foundation compositions to be mixed together to yield colors in addition to the standard colors.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the mixing code includes an array of different color representations with each color representation having associated therewith a mixing formula that indicates the proportions of the various standard colors required to produce a color comparable to that color representation.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein the array of different color representations is formed on a card.
10. A method of organizing an array of liquid cosmetic foundation compositions and dispensing the foundation compositions from a series of dispensers comprising:
a. filing a series of dispensers with cosmetic foundation compositions with respective dispensers including different color or tone foundation compositions;
b. supporting the cosmetic foundation composition dispensers on a support rack such that they are disposed in side-by-side relationship;
c. supporting a receiving or mixing container under the foundation composition dispensers and aligning the container with a selected dispenser; and
d. dispensing a selected volume of cosmetic foundation composition from a selected dispenser into the underlying container.
11. The method of claim 10 including dispensing different cosmetic foundation compositions from at least two different dispensers and mixing those foundation compositions together to yield a cosmetic foundation color or tone that is different from the foundation compositions comprising the mix.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein there is provided a series of color representations that can be formulated from two or more foundation compositions within the dispensers, and for each color representation there is provided a formula that sets forth the proportions of the two or more foundation compositions required to yield a comparable color or tone to the color representation.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein there is provided a card and the series of color representations and formulas are provided on the card.
This application is a continuation in part of U.S. Ser. No. 09/049,223 filed Mar. 27, 1998 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,089,408.
The present invention relates to the dispensing of hair coloring chemicals and more particularly to a revolving carousel that houses a series of pigment and developer containers, which allow these chemicals to be dispensed in precisely, metered volumes.
The cosmetic dying or coloring of hair requires the application of a colorizing solution, which serves to permanently alter the color of the affected hair. In most instances, this colorizing solution is comprised of a number of individual color pigments which are mixed together to yield a particular color or color shade. Given the particular optical or color qualities of each individual color pigment, the mixing ratios required to derive any particular color or color shade are well known. Therefore, to produce a dye of a specific color simply requires the beautician to consult a document or table, which lists the required pigments and the necessary mixing ratio for the desired dye color. As such, it will be appreciated that the reliable production of a particular dye color requires the relatively precise measurement and mixing of the individual pigment components that comprise the color. However, it is often the case that measurement of the exact quantities of each pigment required for the production of a particular color or color shade is a difficult task for the beautician. In general, the pigments are typically supplied to the user in individual bulk containers (typically squeeze type) from which they are eventually dispensed. Thus, the user is faced with the problem of dispensing the coloring pigments from the bulk containers in which they are stored in an accurate and reliable manner.
Not only is it difficult for beauticians to precisely dispense a certain amount from the respective tubes, but in typical beauty salons where many people have access to the color tubes, one often finds a great deal of disorganization. That is, the color dispensers are often found randomly mixed in one or more containers, some full and some only partially full. A great deal of time is lost by the beauticians in their effort to find and organize tubes of particular color. Needless to say, maintaining an appropriate level of inventory for all of the colors typically used is most difficult under the circumstances. Finally, the above approach does indeed lead to an undue amount of waste as partially filled tubes are often discarded.
Therefore, there is and continues to be a need for a dispensing device which allows beauticians to reliably dispense precisely metered volumes of hair coloring pigments and other chemicals (such as developer) associated with the dying or coloring of hair, such that the color or shade of the resulting pigmented hair coloring solution can be accurately controlled.
The present invention entails a carousel for holding and dispensing plunger type dispensers that are filled with hair coloring compositions. In particular, the hair-coloring carousel includes a base and a carrier assembly rotatably mounted on the base. The carrier assembly includes a structure for receiving a plurality of dispensers. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the carrier assembly includes a pair of spaced apart racks with each rack including a series of openings formed therein and wherein the openings formed in an upper rack are aligned with the openings in the lower rack. A series of plunger type dispensers are secured within the aligned openings of the upper and lower racks. Each dispenser includes a transparent chamber having a plunger reciprocally mounted therein and a lower valve body. The transparent chambers are adapted to receive and hold either a hair coloring composition or a hair coloring developer composition. In a preferred embodiment, the various plunger type dispensers would include an array of different hair coloring compositions as well as a developer composition. By engaging the plunger of the respective dispensers, a beautician can selectively dispenser a predetermined quantity of material from a particular dispenser. By placing a mixing container below the level of the dispensers, the hair coloring compositions and the developer compositions can be dispensed within the mixing container. In fact, the mixing container can be maintained in a generally set or stationary position and the carousel or carrier assembly can be rotated to selectively align certain dispensers over the mixing container.
Consequently, the hair-coloring carousel of the present invention maintains a full set of hair coloring dispensers in an organized state and enables a beautician to selectively dispense a certain quantity of a particular shade of hair coloring composition from a particular dispenser. Thereafter, the carousel can be rotated to where another dispenser is aligned with the mixing container in order that the selective formulation can be dispensed and mixed.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a system for grouping and organizing an array of hair coloring dispensers together such that a wide range of different hair coloring compositions can be disposed at one location in easy reach of the beautician.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a hair coloring station that organizes and holds a series of hair coloring dispensers with certain dispensers holding different hair coloring compositions.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide a hair coloring station in the form of a carousel that holds a series of hair coloring dispensers on a carousel such that the dispensers can be rotated about a generally vertical axis.
Still a further object of the present invention resides in the provision of a hair-coloring carousel of the character referred to above which employs plunger type dispensers that permit a beautician to dispense a precise quantity of a selected hair coloring composition.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and obvious from a study of the following description and the accompanying drawings, which are merely illustrative of such invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of the dispensing carousel of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective illustration of the dispensing carousel of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of a dispensing tube and an associated nozzle.
FIG. 4a is a partial side cross-sectional view of the dispensing tube tip illustrating the spring-loaded check valve in a closed configuration.
FIG. 4b is a partial side cross-sectional view of the dispensing tube tip illustrating the spring loaded check valve in an open configuration.
FIG. 5 illustrates a cosmetic foundation mixing card that assists cosmetologists in mixing various standard cosmetic foundations.
Shown in FIG. 1 is a revolving hair coloring chemical dispenser of the present invention, generally indicated by the numeral 10. Dispenser 10 is comprised of a base plate 12, a first spacer 14, a rotary plate 16, a second spacer or sleeve 18, and an elongated tie rod or bolt 20 as further illustrated in FIG. 2. Also included in dispenser 10 are a pair of generally round, spaced apart supporting racks or plates 26, where each rack further includes a first series of small diameter openings 27 and a second series of four large diameter openings 28. In the embodiment disclosed herein, the supporting racks 26 are identical in size and shape, and furthermore, the positioning of the openings 27 and 28 is also identical in both racks.
As shown in FIG. 2, the first cylindrical spacer 14 is seated directly above and on top of the base plate 12. Rotary plate 16, which can be of a lazy-susan type construction, is positioned above spacer 14, such that the lower face of the plate 16 is in contact with the spacer 14, while the upper face of the plate 16 is in contact with the lower support rack 26. The upper and lower racks 26 along with the spacer or sleeve 18 may be of a single unitary or integral construction. In the alternative, the upper and lower racks 26 along with the spacer sleeve 18 may comprise individual components that are essentially held together by the bolt 20 being appropriately secured within the spacer 14 that rests atop the base 12. The second spacer 18 is positioned above the lower support rack 26 so as to generally separate the lower rack 26 from the upper support rack 26. It will be appreciated from FIG. 2 that the individual components described above which comprise the revolving dispenser carousel 10 are connected and bound together via the elongated tie rod or shaft 20. As such, each of the components described above contains a central annulus or opening, along a common axis through which the tie rod 20 is inserted and generally secured by a washer 22 and threaded nut 24.
Being so configured, the resulting composite structure permits the general rotation of the supporting racks 26 about the tie rod or shaft 20. More specifically, during normal operation, the lower face of the rotary plate 16 remains stationary with respect to the adjacent base 12 and spacer 14, while the upper face of the rotary plate 16 is permitted to rotate or spin freely about the shaft 20. As the lower support rack 26 is in direct contact with the adjacent rotary plate 16, the lower support rack is also permitted to rotate or spin freely about the shaft 20. Thus, under normal operating conditions, the base 12 of dispenser 10 remains generally stationary, while the support racks 26 are free to rotate or spin about the shaft 20.
The particular construction of the hair coloring carousel 10 may vary from the design shown in the drawings and from the description set forth above. It is appreciated by those skilled in the art that the carrier assembly made up of the upper support racks 26 may be rotatively supported in various ways without departing from the present invention. In addition, the various components that make up the hair color carousel 10 can be constructed of various materials such as wood, plastic, metal, and the like.
Configured so as to pass through the openings 27 and 28, and effectively be seated within the spaced apart supporting racks 26 are a plurality of dispensing containers. In the embodiment described herein, there are two types of generally cylindrical dispensing containers. There is a large developer container, generally indicated by the numeral 30, and a smaller pigment container 80, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It should be appreciated that these dispensing containers operate in the same general manner, and with the exception of their size differential, they are functionally equivalent in all other respects. As such, only the larger developer container 30 will be described in detail herein. Furthermore, as such dispensing containers are known, the description that follows is intended primarily to provide a general description that illustrates the basic operating principles of the dispensers.
Shown in FIG. 3 is a sectioned view of the developer dispensing container 30. Container 30 is comprised of a generally cylindrical housing 32, which is fabricated from a transparent material, such as a clear plastic polymer. The top end of the housing 32 is closed by a generally round, top cover 38. Top cover 38 contains a centrally located opening through which an elongated plunger shaft 36 is allowed to pass. As such, the upper portion of the plunger shaft 36 extends generally upwardly and away from the top cover 38, while the lower portion of the shaft resides within the housing 32. Disposed on the lower portion of the plunger shaft 36 is a piston 34, which is typically formed from a resilient material such as rubber, or the like. A sealed fluid reservoir 42 is consequently formed in the area between the plunger piston 34 and the bottom of the container housing 32, as shown in FIG. 3.
The bottom end of the housing 32 contains a series of screw-type threads 40, which are machined into the housing surface, as shown in FIGS. 4a and 4 b. A lower threaded tip of the housing 32 is adopted to be screwed into and be sealed within a valve fixture, generally indicated by the numeral 50. Valve fixture 50 includes a threaded housing 52 designed to be received and secured onto the container housing 32. Disposed at the base of the valve housing 52 is an O-ring type seal 53, typically formed of a resilient material such as rubber, or the like. When assembled, the O-ring 53 effectively forms a seal between the valve housing 52 and the container housing 32, thereby forcing all fluids contained within the housing 32 to flow through and not around the valve housing 52. Valve fixture 50 is further comprised of a fluid plenum area 54, a helical biasing spring 56, a valve stop flange 58, and valve body 60, a valve body inlet opening or port 62, and a valve body annulus 64, as illustrated in FIGS. 4a and 4 b.
Valve body 60 is disposed within a passageway formed in the tip of the valve housing 52 and is prevented from sliding or falling out by the valve stop flange 58, as shown in FIG. 4a. Furthermore, the valve body 60 is preferentially forced or biased downward towards the tip of the valve housing 52 by the helical biasing spring 56 when not in use, once again as shown in FIG. 4a. This downward biasing actually results in the protrusion or extension of the valve body 60 from the lower tip of the valve housing 52. As such, the inlet port 62, which is communicatively coupled to the valve body annulus 64, is forced downward and out of the fluid plenum area 54. In such a closed configuration, fluid is not allowed to flow from the fluid plenum area 54, through the inlet port 62, and into the valve body annulus 64. Thus, when not in use, the valve body 60 is biased towards a closed configuration by the helical biasing spring 56, and consequently no fluid is permitted to flow from the fluid reservoir 42.
As shown in FIG. 4b, when a force great enough to overcome the downward biasing force generated by the helical biasing spring 56 is applied to the exposed tip of the valve body 60, the entire valve body 60 is forced upwardly and into the tip of the valve housing 52. As such, the inlet port 62 which is communicatively coupled to the valve body annulus 64, is forced upward and into the fluid plenum area 54. In such an open configuration, fluid is allowed to flow from the fluid plenum area 54, through the inlet port 62, and into and through the valve body annulus 64. Thus, when in use, the valve body 60 is moved upwardly towards an open configuration by a force that opposes the helical biasing spring 56 and consequently fluid is permitted to flow from the fluid reservoir 42.
Returning to FIG. 3, it will be appreciated that a generally hollow, actuating nozzle 70 is adopted to generally fit over and cover the tip of the valve fixture 50. As such, nozzle 70 is configured to receive and engage the tip of the valve housing 52 about a valve seat 74. More particularly, the valve seat 74 is designed so as to engage the protruding or extended tip of the valve body 60. Consequently, any net force applied to the nozzle 70 in a generally upward direction will be directly transferred to the exposed tip of the valve body 60, which will in turn tend to actuate the valve 50. Once actuated, the fluid passing through the valve body annulus 64 is directed generally through and out the tip of the nozzle 70.
It will also be appreciated from FIG. 3 that nozzle 70 also includes a stop flange 72 located on the outer or external surface. Returning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, it can be seen that the nozzles 70 are disposed to rest in the passageways 28 formed in the lower support rack 26 such that the stop flange 72 engages the upper surface of the lower support rack 26 immediately adjacent the passageway 28 and effectively prevents the nozzle 70 from passing completely through the passageway. As such, the wide end of the nozzle 70 that is intended to receive the container housing 32 is positioned generally above the top surface of the lower support rack 26, while the narrow or tip end of the nozzle 70 extends or projects through the passageway 28 and generally downwardly and away from the bottom surface of the lower support rack 26.
Loading of the developer dispensing containers 30 within the carousel 10 proceeds as follows. With the nozzle 70 placed within the lower rack 26, the developer container 30 is simply inserted or passed through the openings 28 in the upper rack 26 and moved downwardly through the upper rack until the tip of the valve fixture 50 engages the awaiting nozzle 70, which is aligned below.
As mentioned previously, the embodiment described herein includes two distinct container types, a developer container 30 and a color pigment container 80. While these two container types differ in size and shape, they are functionally identical. Therefor, it will be appreciated that the description of container 30, provided above, can be applied directly to the container 80. Besides the overall size of the container 80, the most noticeable difference involves the shape of the associated nozzle 82. Once again, the nozzle 82 is intended to provide the same function and perform identically to the nozzle 70, which is described above. Thus, the pigment container 80 is loaded into the carousel 10 in exactly the same manner as described above for the larger, developer container 30.
Actuation of the developer and pigment containers 30 and 80, respectively, is accomplished in exactly the same manner. Once again, for the purposes of illustration, actuation of the developer container 30 will be described below, with the understanding that the same description applies to actuation of the pigment container 80.
With the container 30 properly loaded in the carousel 10, as shown in FIG. 1, dispensing of the developer solution is accomplished through actuation of the valve fixture 50 disposed generally about the bottom end of the container housing 32. The valve fixture 50 is actuated when the plunger shaft 36, which extends generally upward from the top of the container housing 32, is manually forced downward. Because the fluid reservoir 42 is effectively sealed at both ends, the force applied to the shaft 36 results in the general downward movement of the entire container 30 relative to both the upper and lower supporting racks 26. As such, the valve fixture 50 which is attached to the lower end of the container housing 32 is effectively forced downward against the valve seat 74 formed in the inner surface of the stationary nozzle 70. More particularly, valve seat 74 engages the protruding tip of the valve body 60 and forces the valve body generally upward and into the valve housing 52, compressing the helical biasing spring 56, and driving the inlet port 62 into alignment with the fluid plenum area 54. As described above, such manipulation of the valve body 60 effectively actuates the valve and permits fluid from the reservoir 42 to flow through the fluid plenum area 54, into and through the valve body inlet port 62, into and through the valve body annulus 64, and ultimately into and through the hollow nozzle 70 where it is collected by the user.
It will be appreciated that an amount of force sufficient to overcome the closure biasing force provided by the helical biasing spring 56 must be manually applied to the plunger shaft in order to actuate the valve 50 and initiate fluid flow. Once the valve 50 is actuated and fluid flow has commenced, the user may monitor the amount of product dispensed by observing the change in fluid level within the transparent fluid reservoir area 42 of the container housing 32.
In a preferred embodiment, the transparent fluid reservoirs of both the pigment dispensers 80 and the developer dispensers 30 would include graduations inscribed on the surface of the fluid reservoirs so that the beautician dispensing materials from the dispensers can accurately judge the quantity or volume of material dispensed.
Once again, it should be appreciated that the dispensing of fluids from the pigment containers 80 is accomplished in the same manner as that described above for the developer containers 30.
In using the hair-coloring carousel 10 of the present invention, the beautician or user places a mixing bowl on base 12 generally underneath the lower rack 26. Thereafter the racks 26 can be rotated to appropriately align either the coloring dispensers 80 or the developer dispensers 30 with the underlying mixing bowl. Thus, the beautician can select one or more pigment colors to dispense into the underlying bowl and can thereafter dispense the developer into the mixing bowl. In conventional fashion, once the coloring pigment and the developer has been dispensed into the mixing bowl, the entire formulation is mixed.
It is appreciated that the beautician or user of the carousel of the present invention can precisely dispense a selected volume of any coloring pigment or developer. Consequently, the final formulation is more precise and consequently, the resulting color achieved in the dying process more closely approximates the color intended to be achieved from the various types of color pigments introduced into the formulation.
On a daily or routine basis, the individual dispensers, whether they be color dispensers or developer dispensers, can be refilled by removing the tops from the dispenser and directing coloring fluid or developer fluid downwardly through the open top of the respective dispensers.
Therefore, the hair-coloring carousel 10 of the present invention has many advantages including a structure that maintains a plurality of coloring dispensers and a series of developer dispensers in an organized configuration about a rack. This enables the beautician or the user to gain easy and convenient access to the various dispensers and enables the beautician or the user to quickly and easily locate particular colors within the array of dispensers. In addition, the use of the dispensers disclosed herein eliminate waste that typically occurs with the use of conventional squeeze type tube dispensers. Finally, the dispensers that form a part of the hair coloring carousel 10 of the present invention enable a beautician or user to precisely dispense a certain amount of color pigment for the developer and therefore permits a more precise formulation to be achieved in the end.
The dispenser 10 of the present invention can also be utilized to organize and dispense conventional cosmetic foundation compositions. It is appreciated that cosmetic foundations are typically provided in different tones, shades or colors. For example, one manufacturer of cosmetic foundations may have eight to twenty standard tones or colors. The present method entails containerizing each of the standard colors or shades into the dispenser 30. Thus an array of dispensers would be held within the carousel or support with each dispenser including a particular color or tone of a cosmetic foundation. It is contemplated that the dispensing apparatus with the cosmetic foundations contained therein would be located at the point of sale or at a cosmetic counter. Customers would have the opportunity to view the array of dispensers and the cosmetic foundations contained therein, and in fact samples could be dispensed for testing. Once a purchaser had decided on a particular foundation, then the cosmetologist would simply dispense a selected volume of the particular foundation into a container.
In many cases, the standard array of foundations offered by a particular manufacturer do not meet the needs or desires of a particular customer. That is, the particular tone required falls between two standard tones. The present invention is directed at a method for dispensing two or more cosmetic foundations and mixing those foundations together at the point of sale to yield a new and different tone of foundation for the customer.
In FIG. 5 there is shown a cosmetic foundation-mixing card that is indicated generally by the numeral 10. The mixing card 10 depicts a series of standard cosmetic foundations CF-1 through CF-8. Each of these representations are in color and represent the general shade, tone or color of a standard foundation. However, as pointed out above, there will be instances where a customer will desire a shade or color that falls between one of the standard colors and this will of course require a blend.
The card 10 includes a series of color representations that depict a shade or color that can be achieved by mixing certain standard foundations from the group CF-1 through CF-8. For example, the shade or color identified by the numeral 12 can be formulated by mixing one part CF-1 and one half part of CF-2. Thus the cosmetologist would dispense these portions from the respective dispensers that would be supported in the dispensing apparatus of the present invention. The color or tone represented in the block denoted 14 is achieved by using two parts CF-6, one part CF-7, and one part CF-8. Again all three of these standard foundations would be dispensed in the correct portion into a mixing container and the foundations would be mixed and then packaged for the consumer.
From the foregoing discussion, it is appreciated that the present invention entails a simple and efficient method or of organizing and dispensing various shades and colors of cosmetic foundations. The apparatus for holding and supporting the respective dispensers is compact, attractive and easy to use.
The present invention may, of course, be carried out in other specific ways than those herein set forth without departing from the spirit and essential characteristics of the invention. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, and all changes coming within the meaning and equivalency range of the appended claims are intended to be embraced therein.